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PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48141. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048141. Epub 2012 Oct 31.

Sildenafil enhances neurogenesis and oligodendrogenesis in ischemic brain of middle-aged mouse.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


Adult neural stem cells give rise to neurons, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Aging reduces neural stem cells. Using an inducible nestin-CreER(T2)/R26R-yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) mouse, we investigated the effect of Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor, on nestin lineage neural stem cells and their progeny in the ischemic brain of the middle-aged mouse. We showed that focal cerebral ischemia induced nestin lineage neural stem cells in the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral ventricles and nestin expressing NeuN positive neurons and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) positive mature oligodendrocytes in the ischemic striatum and corpus callosum in the aged mouse. Treatment of the ischemic middle-aged mouse with Sildenafil increased nestin expressing neural stem cells, mature neurons, and oligodendrocytes by 33, 75, and 30%, respectively, in the ischemic brain. These data indicate that Sildenafil amplifies nestin expressing neural stem cells and their neuronal and oligodendrocyte progeny in the ischemic brain of the middle-aged mouse.

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